NW CRICKET: Big three through to Senior Cup semi-final
Some indifferent weather around the North West failed to dampen the spirits of the local cricket fraternity over the weekend as a hectic schedule started with some cracking action in both league and cup.
Most of the attention centred on a plethora of cup cricket on Sunday with games in the Irish Senior and National Cups, with the domestic blue riband, the Bank of Ireland competition front and centre.
No doubt the story during the build-up to the three remaining quarter-final ties involved North West Warriors and Ireland wicketkeeper/batsman Niall O’Brien who having originally agreed to play for Brigade in the competition, then did a U-turn and signed for the Bleachgreen outfit instead.
It was to matter little however- a superb partnership between Andy Britton and Kyle Magee allowing the Beechgrove side to recover from a precarious 40-7 to post 210; a total that was to prove beyond the hosts.
Donemana are through too - a workmanlike win securing victory for them at Coleraine, but that won’t concern Ricky-Lee Dougherty as he prepares for another semi-final.
Eglinton and Newbuildings make up the last quartet standing - the Championship side were already through having beaten Ballyspallen last weekend while a Mike Erlank century saw the Villagers easily into the draw as well.
On Saturday it had all been about the league with Brigade’s meeting at home to Ardmore postponed due to a wet Beechgrove pitch.
Elsewhere, a man-of-the-match performance from Andy McBrine who hit a century and bowled a superb spell of 4-13 from 10 overs helped Donemana chase down Fox Lodge’s daunting 328.
Strabane posted a priceless win at home to Eglinton - a huge result for the Red Caps considering they were missing Peter Gillespie to holiday.
And Coleraine finished the day in pole position in the table as they accounted for Bready in style.
In the Championship, Glendermott have taken charge of what seems to be developing into a 3-horse promotion race after they produced a solid performance to see off Ballyspallen.